Q&A With Erika Kurtz, MMC Trauma and EMS Coordinator

Erika Kurtz, MMC Trauma and EMS Coordinator

Erika Kurtz, MMC Trauma and EMS Coordinator

What does the Trauma and EMS Coordinator do? 

My role in the hospital is a multi-faceted one. The EMS/Trauma Coordinator acts as a liaison between Memorial Medical Center, area ambulance services and medical staff.  I am responsible maintaining our trauma program and our certification as a level 4 trauma center. This involves working in close collaboration with our Emergency Department Nurse Manager, Emergency Department staff, Medical Staff and our EMS partners to deliver care to our patients.  This entails seeking educational opportunities for staff and EMS, involvement in EMS council and local services, monitoring charts, and creating policies to improve care.  I also attend meetings for our region and State trauma councils.  I also work part-time in the Emergency Department as a staff member.

When a patient comes to see you, what information should they bring?

If at all possible, we would like a medication and allergy list.  I know that it may be difficult is you are in an accident but I recommend making a list and putting in a wallet or purse.  EMS personnel will check when someone is unconscious for medication lists in purses and wallets.  Plus, you will always have it with you when you go to the clinic or end up visiting the ED unexpectedly.

What are three questions patients should consider asking if they end up in the ER?

Always ask why. Why do I need this test? Why do I need this medication? Another good question I encourage patients to ask is, how can I prevent this from happening again?

What is the largest misconception you think patients have about Ambulances and EMS?

That it is quicker to get to the emergency department by getting into the car and driving here.  If you are having chest pain or stroke symptoms, please call 911.  They are staffed with highly trained individuals that can offer you life-saving treatment very quickly.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give patients to improve their overall health?

Please wear your seatbelts, put your children in car seats, wear your motorcycle helmets!  Seat Belts do save lives!  Also, if you or your child participatse in sports, please wear safety equipment.  This will help you not come and visit me!

If folks wanted additional information about staying safe, what are some available resources you’d recommend?